Amsterdam Direct Enrollment - Conservatorium van Amsterdam


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Amsterdam?

As a Music student, you’ll flourish in Amsterdam’s thriving arts environment. Long known as a center for arts and culture, Amsterdam embraces expressions of the human spirit.

What You'll Study

You have the opportunity to directly enroll as a fully matriculated student at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA). The CvA staff will work with you to establish a personalized academic schedule that includes applied and theoretical aspects of Classical and Jazz music study along with optional courses and electives. The required practical component of the course of study combines both one-on-one and small-group instruction.

The CvA is the largest and most diverse music conservatory in the Netherlands, specializing in performance, composition, and theory. Students who are highly motivated, independent, and willing to immerse themselves in this outstanding institution will find great opportunities.

Designed by Frits Van Dongen and opened in 2008, the CvA's building includes recital halls, classrooms, practice rooms, and offices. The facility is located in the center of Amsterdam, across the street from the Muziekgebouw, the purpose-built home of contemporary music and jazz in Amsterdam.

Daily Life

Amsterdam will be your classroom. Take in some improvised music at the highly respected Bimhuis or North Sea Jazz Club. And be sure to enjoy one of the many concerts that take place at the prestigious Amsterdam Concertgebouw. You’ll also want to take in the famous works of art at the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.

We want you to feel at home in Amsterdam, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From arranging housing to hosting cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following program components:

  • Music Courses at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (required, 15 credits)
  • IES Abroad-taught Dutch language course (optional, 2 credits)


  • Dutch Language in Daily Life

In close consultation with our staff, you establish a personalized, full-time (15-credit) course of study that includes applied and theoretical aspects of music study with electives and optional courses. The mandatory practical component of the curriculum is a combination of one-on-one and small-group instruction.

The study includes highly-individualized lessons with a tutor and participation in an extensive chamber music and ensemble program and culminates in final performances. Theoretical components aim at developing musical imagination and perception.

CvA offers courses within the departments of Classical and Jazz:

  • Brass Instruments
  • Historical Instruments (Classical only)
  • Improvisation (Jazz only)
  • Percussion
  • Piano and Other Keyboard Instruments
  • String Instruments
  • Voice
  • Woodwind Instruments

Elective Courses

The elective component includes additional performance and theory options. Within both the Classical and Jazz departments, elective courses are available in:

  • Analysis
  • Arranging
  • Chamber Music
  • Composition
  • Conducting
  • Continuo Playing and Directing Ensembles
  • Counterpoint
  • Drama
  • Ear Training
  • Harmonic Analysis of the Piano
  • Harmony
  • Music and Social History
  • Orchestra or Ensemble Projects
  • Optional IES Abroad Course

This course is taught by IES Abroad faculty and is offered both fall and spring semesters.

  • Dutch language and culture course at the IES Abroad Center

Partner Institution(s)

Conservatorium van Amsterdam

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam takes full advantage of Amsterdam’s established reputation in music to offer outstanding instruction in classical and jazz music performance, theory, and composition. The Conservatorium is dedicated to upholding superior standards of teaching, performing, and creating music through a highly-individualized course of study. It aims to train you to become a versatile musician at the highest level of professional musicianship. If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the motivation and intention to become a professional musician, a music scholar, or a composer.

A member of the Amsterdam School of the Arts, the CvA was originally established as the Amsterdam Conservatorium in 1884. The vast majority of courses at the CvA are taught in English.


Designed by Frits van Dongen and opened in 2008, the CvA’s building includes recital halls, classrooms, practice rooms, and offices. The facility is located in the center of Amsterdam, across the street from the Muziekgebouw, the purpose-built home of contemporary music and jazz in Amsterdam.

Advising & Support

Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner institutions, we’re here for you whenever you need us.


Before you leave home, we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process.

But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Amsterdam, our staff is available to help you transition into your new home. Creating a plan of study at a school abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. When you arrive on-site, we are available to answer your questions while you work with your home and host schools to figure out what courses you need to complete while in the Netherlands.


The support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff is there for you.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Amsterdam, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:

Antwerp, Belgium

2 Days| Fall & Spring

Enjoy a weekend away in Netherland’s neighboring country, Belgium! Come sample the local cuisine, and learn a bit more about what makes Belgium special.

National Park Hoge Veluwe & Kröller-Müller Museum

2 Days | Fall

Visit the largest privately managed conservation area in the Netherlands - home to several endangered species, as well as visit the park's museum. Also visit the Open Air Museum, which allows you to see the historical past of Dutch life.


2 Days | Spring

Explore this university city with its beautiful medieval architecture and lively arts and culture. Visit the famous labyrinth caves of Limburg, and take a walk in the spectacular hilly countryside.

Zaanse Schans

1 Day | Fall & Spring

Enjoy a cycling trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a quintessential Dutch town, famous for its windmills.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Amsterdam is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is the orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.


The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, academics, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

Following IES Abroad orientation, you participate in an orientation at the CvA to get to know the staff and facilities.

Local field trips and activities are also arranged, as well as an overnight orientation trip, where you’ll have the opportunity to further sample elements of Dutch culture and get to know the other students.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Amsterdam, it will feel like home.

Deluxe Residence Hall - You will live in a single room with a private bathroom. You share a kitchen with other students on your floor. The building features a 24-hour reception and a gym.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Amsterdam through cultural events, such as:

  • Seeing the windmills in the Zaanse Schans
  • Visiting a cheese market in Alkmaar, followed by canoeing on the Alkmaar canals
  • Touring the Keukenhof tulip garden (spring only)
  • Visiting Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Bicycling to Volendam and Marken
  • Exploring the medieval castle Muiderslot and the Isle of Pampus


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $20,865 $5,375 $230 $26,470

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic Year $28,605 $9,120 $455   $38,180

Our Center

The IES Abroad Amsterdam Center is housed in the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne, former military barracks that has since been turned into offices and apartments, and located across from the famous Artis Zoo. Features include a small library, classroom space, staff offices, WiFi access, and space for students to meet and study. Center office hours are Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm (unless otherwise specified).

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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